Various methods of recycling currently undertaken in the construction and demolition industries are looked at, and concrete is singled out as being a large proportion of construction and demolition waste with few recycling options. It is suggested that a new approach to concrete recycling is required. A recent scheme in Berlin, in which precast concrete panels were reclaimed from a disused building and reused in the construction of a new house, is then introduced. To test the viability of this scheme it was compared to a masonry house as typically built in the UK, in terms of both material costs and CO2 generated. The study revealed that the Berlin scheme was 59% cheaper than the UK construction method and produced 68% less CO2.
Andrea Charlson, MEng